Officials said that several members of the Minnesota National Guard were shot at in Minneapolis on Sunday, April 18, during the riots, arson, and demonstrations following the fatal shooting of Daunte Wright last week.
Two people were injured, but only slightly, the CBS Minnesota reported.
A national guardsman and a Minneapolis police “was fired upon early Sunday morning in a drive-by shooting near Penn Avenue and Broadway in Minneapolis,” the Minnesota National Guard wrote in a tweet.
— MN National Guard (@MNNationalGuard) April 18, 2021
The shooting happened about 4 a.m. local time, according to the Guard, when a “light-colored SUV” approached and someone inside “fired several shots” at a security team providing neighborhood security.
“One of the bullets penetrated the Humvee with soldiers inside of it,” Cmdr. Sgt. Maj. Robert Harris said.
“No team members were seriously injured,” the tweet read, adding that two members had minor injuries.
Gov. Tim Walz called in the National Guard after rioters in Brooklyn Center vandalized the city’s police headquarters on April 11 in the aftermath of Wright’s shooting.
Last week, the National Guard announced that it had activated more than 500 personnel in response to Walz’s order, adding that the troops were mobilized ahead of a jury decision in former officer Derek Chauvin’s trial in the death of George Floyd.
Following Floyd’s death last year, riots, arson attacks, vandalism, and looting erupted in Minneapolis, causing tens of millions of dollars in property damage.
The Minnesota National Guard said that they “had plans in place to increase that number in the coming days as closing arguments approach in the trial of Derek Chauvin.”
CBS Minnesota reported that about 3,000 citizen soldiers and airmen were activated as part of Operation Safety Net. These “citizen soldiers” left their full-time jobs and families during the mission.
“They’re reading everything from neighborhood “thank yous” to obscene words. For the duration of the Derek Chauvin trial, these soldiers will be assigned to corridors in Minneapolis,” the news outlet reported. “They claim to be aware of the danger during this turbulent period and that their quest to save these Minnesotans is still ongoing.”
“All we can do is kind of stand strong while we’re here,” CBS cited Sgt. Justin Haynes as saying. “It is surreal because I don’t expect to get shot at in uniform protecting my streets, on my streets that I come home to.”
Regarding the case of George Floyd, the Hennepin County medical examiner issued a report in late May saying a preliminary autopsy found no evidence that the black man died of strangulation and traumatic asphyxia.
Floyd, a 46-year-old man, was arrested after being accused of trying to pass a counterfeit $20 bill at the Cup Foods convenience store. A bystander video recording showed Floyd was forced to the ground by an officer who was later identified as Derek Chauvin. Chauvin was seen kneeling on Floyd’s neck as he repeatedly said he could not breathe. Floyd then went silent; he was declared dead at a hospital a short time later.
The medical examiner said a combination of factors likely caused Floyd’s death, including being restrained by the police officer, his underlying health conditions, which included coronary artery disease and hypertensive heart disease, and potential intoxicants in his system.
Chauvin was arrested and taken into custody. He has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter by Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman.
But in the hearings, early this April, defense counsel Eric Nelson revealed a new police bodycam footage indicating that Chauvin’s knee appeared to be on Floyd’s shoulder blade.
The closing arguments in the Chauvin trial are expected to begin on Monday.